MA Center in Washington DC inaugurated

December 29th, 2009 was an auspicious day in the suburbs of Potomac, Maryland as the doors to the new Ashram opened. The 12,000 square foot house sits on 7.5 scenic and peaceful acres with sprawling green lawns and grand old trees.

Ceremonies began at daybreak with a homa led by Bri. Rema Devi, followed by archana, satsang, bhajans lead by Br. Dayamrita Chaitanya.  Ashramites from MA Center of Californina  along with hundreds of devotees were present.  There was a powerful feeling of excitement, devotion and gratitude to Amma for this Ashram.

Amma first came to the Washington DC area in 1987, when only a very small number of people in the area knew about her.  Like bees to honey, the number of her devotees has grown exponentially.  Many of the devotees who first met Amma during her 1987 visit felt emotional and blissful seeing this physical manifestation of Amma’s blessings.

Satsang members from near and far celebrated this event with joy and reverence knowing how an Ashram will make a real difference in their lives– a place to gather and pray with unity and love and to serve the world.

-Das

Ammas visit will be like Hanukkah

Between the 3rd and 8th of December 2009 Br. Shubamrita paid his fourth annual visit to Israel.
Public programmes were held in the cities of Tel Aviv, Pardes Hana and for the first time in Netiv Halamed Hey, a Kibbutz (community) near Jerusalem. An Integrated Amrita Meditation course was held in Tel Aviv, with nearly 80 participants.

The participants enjoyed Br. Shubamrita’s talks based on Amma’s teachings and interspersed with a lot of humour and personal experiences. The Hebrew songs also were a great hit with the audience.

Br. Shubamrita was invited to ‘Wings of Krembo’, a youth organization which cares for children with special needs. There are more than 900 teenagers who volunteer in the organization, which has 8 active groups throughout the country. Twice a week they spend an afternoon with the needy children, thus allowing their parents to have some free time. Br. Shubamrita had a very lively interaction with the group, joining in their singing and games. He taught the kids the peace prayer “Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” which was chanted with a lot of cheering and clapping.

At the end of the meeting, Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of light, was celebrated. Just like the candles are lit on the traditional seven-armed lamp, the simple act of kindness by the youngsters is kindling the light of joy, love and peace in the lives of those they care for.

People are praying to Amma to visit Israel.  In Tel Aviv one lady said, “Hanukkah is a festival that brings in joy and light to all of us and is very dear to our hearts. It will be like a Hanukkah for us when Amma comes to Israel, for we can see a person who is spreading the light of love and peace around the world.”

– Dass

Weekend retreat in Nagano

17 – 18 October 2009

Nabekura Plateau is within the prefectural boundaries of Niigata and Nagano prefectures in Japan.  This plateau is home to 100 year old Buna trees in a primordial untouched natural forest. Buna trees are also called Japanese beeches which are native to Japan, where it is widespread and often one of the dominant trees of Japan’s deciduous forests. Surrounded by this incredible nature, Swami Purnamritananda’s weekend retreat was conducted in this picturesque place. Amma says that harmony with nature decreases our stress and restores our inner and outer balance.  One could really experience this in the calm and serene atmosphere.

Bhajan, Chanting class, Satsang and a Laksmi Puja were the highlights of the first day of the retreat.  The Lakshmi Puja was performed as part of Deepawali celebrations and Swamiji explained why Deepawali is called ‘festival of lights’. Amma’s Japanese children felt really blessed to have Swamiji instruct them to do the Puja in the traditional Indian way. After the Puja, there were cultural programs like Bharat Natyam and a Japanese folk dance. Towards the end, everyone joined together and danced joyously to Amma’s Punjabi Bhajan Matarani. On the second day, after the yoga and guided meditation session, Swamiji taught everyone to chant the Gayathri Mantra and explained the importance of chanting it every day.  In the afternoon there was eco-meditation and a nature-walk. The retreat ended with an interesting Q&A session.
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Navagraha Homa in Kenya

navarga homaNavagraha Homa is recommended for all and is an extremely useful & beneficial Homa, since its worship strengthens benefic planets & increases their positive influence and pacifies malefic planets & neutralizes their negative effect.

This homa was conducted by Br Shantamrita at the  Amrita Watoto Boma, the orphange, on 1st November 2009.

A beautiful white & yellow kolam decorated the homa kunda.  During the Homa, all devotees sang bhajans and the sound of ancient Vedic mantras also pervaded the space later in the ceremony.  Over 150 people attended the homa, including special guests the Indian Deputy High Commissioner for Kenya, Mr Shukla, and the Honorable Member of Parliament for Naivasha constituency and Chairman Kenya Agriculture Commission, Mr John Mututh.

double-rainbow

Every person present had the chance to make an offering in the fire, including the children who reside at the Children’s Home.

After the homa was completed, it started raining, and a beautiful double rainbow appeared in the sky. A sign that the prayers had reached the Divine?

Sw. Purnamritananda holds pgms in Japan

Weekend Retreat in Mt. Fuji
3 Oct 2009
Swami Purnamirtanandaji’s retreat was held on the shore of Lake Saiko, one of the 5 scenic lakes at the base of Mount Fuji. In an area boasting some of the most pristine forests in the country, greenery and wildlife abound, and provide an ideal environment for people to refresh their body and mind. Over 100 devotees made the two-hour journey from Tokyo to spend the weekend with Swamiji to recharge their spiritual batteries in this idyllic setting. The retreat began with Swamiji’s class on the Mrityunjaya Mantra, followed by a class on Navaratri Puja. Retreat activities on the second day included archana, yoga, eco-meditation, and talks.

Program with volunteer students in Kyoto

Each year, over 100 students from Japan comes to India to join in Amma’s ongoing charitable activities. After the tsunami disaster, over 150 students joined in to participate in Amma’s reconstruction efforts. They also help during Amma’s visits to Japan every year.

The students invited Swamiji to give a talk in Kyoto, which is the headquarters of their activities in Western Japan. Swamiji spent over 2 hours with the students, starting with a spiritual discourse, and then conducting Q&A. The session seemed as though it would not end before the hall closed. The program was concluded on the final note that Swamiji would again return next year!

The students were also very interested in Amma’s new orphanage and school in Kenya and looking forward for an opportunity to take part in the project.

Program and morning meditation in Kanazawa (Hakusan)

13 Oct 2009

The Main Conference Room in “Hakusan People’s Exchange Center” was full to capacity and the air in the hall was thick with suspense, as the attendees were getting their first opportunity to hear Swamiji speak, that too on a very timely and intriguing subject – “How to Transcend Life’s Challenges.”

In am hour long lecture Swamiji spoke about elucidating how we can utilize life’s challenges to propel us even further and more rapidly on the spiritual path. He also emphasized the importance of meditation in developing inner strength, then conducted a flute meditation in order to give the program attendees an immediate experience of what he meant.

Swamiji’s flute meditations are extremely popular in Japan. It was followed with a Q&A session, and distributed prasad to all present.

Early the next morning, at 6:00 am, Swamiji conducted a guided meditation for the Kanazawa Ethics Research Society. The meditation was set in a very tranquil and scenic location: a hall nestled in the midst of a vast grape vineyard.

Sw Ramakrishnanada visits South America – 2001

September 2001

Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri, one of Amma’s senior-most disciples, visited three countries in South America in late September 2001. Programmes were held in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. All programmes were well attended by large numbers of people eager to hear about Amma and fervently praying the Divine Mother Herself will one day visit in person.

Swamiji’s programme in Buenos Aires, Argentina included a special appearance by the Indian Ambassador, Mr. Nigam Prakash, who opened the programme with a warm welcome address. The crowds were highly enthusiastic about Swamiji’s satsangs and bhajans.

Swamiji visited Sao Paulo, Brazil for the first time. Large crowds watched a video of Amma’s life story, “River of Love,” in Spanish, followed by Swamiji’s satsang and bhajans.

Next Swamiji went to Araruama, outside the city of Rio de Janeiro, to inaugurate the Amriteswari Prayer Hall with a special puja. Earlier Amma had blessed a sculpture of Shiva and Ganesha and Swamiji placed the sacred image in the Hall and performed a traditional worship. The Hall was overflowing as the Brazilian devotees gratefully accepted the blessing of Swamiji’s presence in the beautiful new facility dedicated to Amma.

In Colombia, “El Tiempo,” Bogota’s leading newspaper, published an announcement of Swamiji’s programme there. Over 500 hundred interested people attended the Devi Puja held on Saturday, September 29th. “Om Parashaktyai Namaha” resounded as the devotees participated in the Puja with all their hearts. Afterwards Swamiji distributed prasad to all and answered numerous
questions. All present were deeply inspired by the programme held in Amma’s name.